Recently I’ve got more time to operate radio, so I’ve been working on my DXCC totals.  Its becoming very, very addictive.  For various reasons, my Antenna isn’t exactly a work of art.  It is a 7m long piece of wire taped to a fibre-glass fishing pole, tuned against ground.  I’m predominantly operating in “search-and-pounce” mode using morse code, where I continuously tuning up and down, looking for stations (rather than sitting on a frequency, and putting out endless CQ calls). While it’s not very efficient, it’s great fun, and I’m really enjoying it.

So, where do I stand?  Well at the moment, I’ve 87 different DXCC entities worked, with 55 confirmed. Visualising this using Xplanet, it looks like:

Green are DXCC entities that I’ve already worked and confirmed. Yellow are ones worked but not confirmed, Red are ones that I’ve not worked yet. If I can keep my current level of activity, HF band conditions keep improving, and I “work” more stations that use Logbook of the World, rather than depending on QSL cards (my own below), I should achieve 100 countries confirmed by the summer.  In theory 😉

Botnets and Ham Radio

This is a very funny post from Jeff, KE9V.

Dmetry and Olaf walked into a dimly lit tavern and selected a booth far in the back where they could not be easily overhead. Dmetry was a hulking 300 lbs man who had muscled his way into the lower echelons of leadership in the Russian mafia but he was most interested in disappearing a very wealthy man as soon as possible.

It goes on..

“This application includes a Trojan horse; it will offload itself from the primary application upon installation, and play hide and seek with any anti-virus measures that may have been installed” Olaf said as a perverted grin spread across his face. “Then when we are ready, we will have at our disposal 100,000 networked computers that will do our bidding whenever the signal is given”.

Dmetry wasn’t easily convinced. “But why, why should these people be willing to install this botnet?”

Olaf replied, “They have no idea what they are doing. Urmil has written an application for radio amateurs, maybe you’ve heard of these radio ‘hams’, no? They love to play with their computers and their radios but they know little about the technology behind it all. This new application will be software that permits their computers to communicate via HF radio, they are crazy for free software and shiny new baubles to play with.”

“We will tell them that this software is for a new mode of communication and it will spread like wildfire in their community. They will never be the wiser…”

So funny, but it isn’t all that big a leap to see it actually happening. Very funny, thanks Jeff.

(Of course I use fldigi, build it from source, and keep an eye on what stuff is actually leaving my machine as much as possible.)

Adjust your watch..

The Feb. 27 magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile may have shortened the length of each Earth day.

JPL research scientist Richard Gross computed how Earth’s rotation should have changed as a result of the Feb. 27 quake. Using a complex model, he and fellow scientists came up with a preliminary calculation that the quake should have shortened the length of an Earth day by about 1.26 microseconds (a microsecond is one millionth of a second). More.

Also, as a result of the earthquake, there is a lot of activity on Amateur Radio frequencies of 7050, 7060, 7088, 7095.  As there is a contest next weekend, please listen carefully before using these frequencies. More.